Ravenna-Bryant Community Association

Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Ravenna-Bryant Community Association - Serving the Ravenna and Bryant neighborhoods in Seattle, WA

Tips for keeping kids safe on their way to and from school

Bryant Elementary Waslking School BusOne of the most common public safety complaints made by Ravenna-Bryant neighbors is about pedestrian, bike, and traffic safety. With the start of a new school year upon us and less daylight, now is a good time to remember safety tips. Here are a few from SPD North Precinct Captain Sean O’Donnell, who attended schools in the Ravenna-Bryant area during his childhood.

For drivers

  • Abide by speed limits, especially when entering a school zone. Speeding in a school zone can result in a $214 ticket.
  • Watch for children entering the street from behind buses or running to catch a bus.
  • Drive slowly when approaching children riding bicycles and walking near the street.
  • Never pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian is probably in the crosswalk. Doing so can result in a $136 ticket.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at ALL intersections, whether in a marked crosswalk or not. On a two-lane road, the pedestrian must be completely across the roadway before drivers begin moving again.
  • Do not drive distracted (cell phone, eating, etc.)
  • NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE or drive under the influence of drugs.

For pedestrians

  • Pay close attention to surroundings, avoid being on “automatic pilot.”
  • Pick routes with good lighting, clear visibility, and sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk and you must walk in the road, always walk facing traffic. See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
  • Plan a safe walking route to school that is direct with the fewest street crossing and, if possible, with intersections that have traffic controls.
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way when crossing mid-block. Cross streets only at corners, marked crosswalks, or intersections.
  • Avoid walking while listening to an iPod, cell phone, or other device with ear buds or headphones. Like with drivers, these cut down on your awareness of what’s happening around you.

Better know a neighborhood: Ravenna-Bryant zoning, NC2P-40

By Inga Manskopf, RBCA President

As I wrote in a previous post, so much of our local civic conversation is around land use these days. As we discuss how the use of land in our communities may or may not change within the next twenty years, it’s important to know where we are now.

Zoning in Ravenna-Bryant

I recently took a look at a zoning map for my immediate neighborhood (surrounding Bryant Elementary, area 62 on the zoning map). While the vast majority of the area is zoned Single Family, land along NE 55th and NE 65th are zoned differently. A zoning map of NE 55th between 25th and 35th Avenues shows multiple designations and that much of the area is ripe for increased development.

The northwest corner of NE 55th and 35th Avenue NE is zoned NC1-40. The previous post describes NC1-30 zones. Add 10 more feet and you have NC1-40.

55th and 35th

From the northwest corner of 35th Avenue NE to the alley, NE 55th Street is zoned NC1-40 or Neighborhood Commercial up to 40 feet tall (generally 4 stories). Currently, the land contains single story buildings. The rest of the block is zoned NC1-30 or Neighborhood Commercial up to 30 feet tall.

What is NC2-40?

Further west on NE 55th Street, starting at 30th Avenue NE (where Pair is located) all the way down the hill through 25th Avenue NE, zoning on both sides of the street changes to NC2P-40 or Neighborhood Commercial 2 Pedestrian, 40 feet high. (The pedestrian designation was added earlier this year.)

Typical land uses in NC2 zones include medium-sized grocery stores, drug stores, coffee shops, customer service offices, medical facilities, and apartments.  Non-residential uses typically occupy the street front.

City code defines NC2 as meeting the following function and location criteria.

Function: To support or encourage a pedestrian-oriented shopping area that provides a full range of household and personal goods and services, including convenience and specialty goods, to the surrounding neighborhoods, and that accommodates other uses that are compatible with the retail character of the area such as housing or offices, where the following characteristics can be achieved:

  • A variety of small to medium-sized neighborhood-serving businesses;
  • Continuous storefronts built to the front lot line;
  • An atmosphere attractive to pedestrians;
  • Shoppers can drive to the area, but walk from store to store.

Location: A Neighborhood Commercial 2 zone designation is most appropriate on land that is generally characterized by the following conditions:

  • Primary business districts in residential urban villages, secondary business districts in urban centers or hub urban villages, or business districts, outside of urban villages, that extend for more than approximately two blocks;
  • Located on streets with good capacity, such as principal and minor arterials, but generally not on major transportation corridors;
  • Lack of strong edges to buffer the residential areas;
  • A mix of small and medium sized parcels;
  • Limited or moderate transit service.

Drawing courtesy of Department of Planning and Development

Adding the designation of a pedestrian retail area to the NC zone:

  • Preserves areas that offer a mix of street-level, pedestrian-oriented destinations accessible by foot, bike, and transit;
  • Identifies and encourages areas that have potential to transition to a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood business district;
  • Encourages more walking, biking, and transit use to and within neighborhood business districts by preserving and promoting active destinations.

In pedestrian zones:

  • Residential uses may occupy no more than 20% of the street-level street-facing building facade.
  • Buildings cannot have large blank facades on the street-facing pedestrian level.
  • A parking lot on the building site cannot be in front of the building or abut the street. Parking must be under the building or behind it.